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How DAS changed to the VAS framework

Data and Application Solutions (DAS) is nearing its end, with the Vertical Application Solutions (VAS) framework taking its place. Here’s why.

We’re eagerly awaiting the Vertical Application Solutions, or VAS, framework. Due to open for supplier applications in June 2022, it works a little differently than most technology routes to market we’ve seen. The way the Lots are structured is the main difference; there is now a focus on the main areas of the public sector that use the framework rather than scope of technology. This functionality is shared with its predecessor, Data and Application Solutions (or DAS for short).

So why the name change? There’s a little bit more that has changed than that. Here’s what we know!


What was Data and Application Solutions all about?

DAS opened its doors for use in February 2019. A flagship Crown Commercial Service vehicle for software and services, it was kind of like a mixture of G-Cloud and Digital Outcomes & Specialists. However, it was supposed to be more buyer-friendly, in that they could procure by service rather than by technology. This means buyers had to be listed within the correct Lots of verticals that they could support or provide software to.

When it launched, 80 suppliers had been awarded a place on the framework. These were across five key areas: Enterprise Applications, Local Government, Health & Social Care, Police & Emergency and Education. Each section was broken down into a further 14 Lots in total.

With a predicted £1.2bn spend on software and £432m on services through DAS, it was expected to be a biggie! However, it didn’t really pan out that way and wasn’t really used as much as could have been. So, there were some changes from CCS afoot. This led to the creation of a new route to market…


What is the VAS framework?

The VAS framework, set to replace DAS, will open for applications this summer. Again, it’s still a way of suppliers providing software and associated services to the public sector. The Lot structure will be outlined by the public sector, rather than a specific technology.

Vertical Application Solutions will feature a slightly different Lot structure though, combining sections we saw in DAS and re-organising to make it more buyer-friendly. The plan is to feature 5 key areas:

  • Business Applications
  • Education
  • Community Health and Social Care Solutions
  • Housing, Environmental and Planning Solutions
  • Citizen Services
  • Blue Light Solutions

CCS have made the decision to change things up following feedback from supplier engagement sessions and those who used DAS. These new Lots represent this feedback and usage. For example, Local Gov were seen to be the biggest spenders through DAS. With £205m spend during its lifecycle so far. This shows the types of buyers CCS want to accommodate. It’s also important to note that the original Lot 1 (Enterprise Applications) has been removed, and will be seen more in other frameworks such as Big Data & Analytics and Back Office Software (other frameworks from CCS).

Estimated to be worth about £1.8bn throughout its four year lifetime, it’s got a lot similar to DAS. However, with mistakes learnt, and everyone on board to help make it grow, Vertical Application Solutions looks like a VERY promising next step.

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